11 June 2019

Botswana: High Court Scraps Anti-Gay Laws

Photo: See-ming Lee/UN
Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists: Despite vocal opposition in a number of African countries, acceptance is slowly gaining ground (file photo).

Johannesburg — Botswana's High Court has overturned a law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations. Under section 164 of Botswana's Penal Code, same sex relations was an offense that carried a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.

The case was brought to court in March by Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a 21-year-old student at the University of Botswana, who argued that society had changed and that homosexuality was more widely accepted, The Tswana Times reported.

In March, the court postponed a ruling on the issue after an unnamed applicant challenged two sections of the penal code.

Botswana joins Angola, Mozambique and Seychelles who have scrapped anti-gay laws in recent years.

The ruling comes weeks after Kenya's High Court refused to scrap laws criminalising homosexuality.

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